Fern Canyon Loop Trail

EASY 50 reviews

Fern Canyon Loop Trail is a 1 mile loop trail located near Orick, CA that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

1.0 miles 196 feet Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

wildlife

no dogs

Fern Canyon at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Fern Canyon is a surrealistic and amazing display of primal ferns growing in a narrow 50-foot-deep vertical walled canyon. The floor is nearly all creek bed which helps provide a contrast of water, gravel, stumps and downed trunks. All of the park staff I spoke to said that this walk was at the top of their list for places to visit at Prairie Creek SP. It's also considered one of the most amazing spots along the North Coast! Fern Canyon was used for several scenes in the movie Jurassic Park 2: Lost Worlds (1997) and the BBC series Walking with Dinosaurs (2000) for very good reason. Try and watch these before coming out, especially if you're bringing kids. The rest of this short loop walk climbs out and along the slopes above the grotto through the surrounding forests. Expect slow going in the canyon. At least 5 species of fern and dozens of other plant species create an overload of color, shape, and texture. Add to the sensory mix a combination of light climbing over logs, ankle deep creek crossings, little animal surprises (amphibians and in one spot, millions of centipedes), a total lack of modern sounds (if it's not a busy day), birds, insect noises, the breeze through the trees...overall, it is an amazing experience. Drive or hike in. Hiking will make a day trip of it or if you prefer to spend the weekend, there are a number of camping options, Driving in to the park is a small adventure in itself. The road in is largely unpaved but is suitable for 2 w/d cars. These old dirt roads provide a far better visceral experience than paved streets in these forests. But be careful - the road can be narrow and has plenty of blind curves. The final leg of the road traces the coast between the narrow coastal plains and bluffs. It provides access to beach camping and several additional trail heads. Expect 2 or 3 shallow creek crossings on the way in to the canyon. The park is designated as a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. The park's tree cover primarily consists of old-growth coast redwood, hemlock and Douglas fir. Sitka spruce and Red Alder provide additional forest cover. Because of frequent coastal fogs, the forest understory vegetation can get very lush and dense. Tan oaks, cascara, maples and California bay can be found on edges and grassland spaces. Western azalea and rhododendron bloom in May and June and offer bright accents and pops of color to the dense green of the forest.

hiking
32 minutes ago

Best hike ever! It was kind of scary driving in to the parking lot. The road was so narrow.

hiking
2 days ago

Awesome and extremely unique little trail. The only problem is it's too short and too remote. Hope to take a few friends back in the future.

hiking
1 month ago

This was probably one of my favorite hikes. went here with my girlfriend for our anniversary and had a blast. the Photos don't do this place justice, a must!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing!!

3 months ago

Jurassic park trail. Gf went crazy and climbed some trees

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great early morning hike.

3 months ago

Most amazing hike ever!, I love this place!! It's like stepping into another world.

hiking
3 months ago

Very pretty - a little crowded and can be very slippery climbing over some of the fallen trees. Worth the hike from the visitor center or driving in and walking through the canyon.

hiking
4 months ago

One of the prettiest and most amazing trails that I have ever hiked. Well worth the 8 mile drive on a dirt road each way.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful and easy hike to do with kids. mostly flat unless you take the stairs to the rim.

hiking
4 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes. It's just a nice easy walk through one of the most beautiful places on earth. Plan on your feet getting wet.

walking
5 months ago

Just beautiful. I couldn't stop taking pictures. This is a very easy walk through the canyon. If you are visiting the Redwoods National Forest, take the time to see this.

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing hike. One of my favorite places in Northern California. Was especially fun knowing that some of Jurassic Park 2 was filmed there..

hiking
5 months ago

Have hiked this trail about a dozen times. It's a must stop every time we are in NorCal.

hiking
5 months ago

Absolutely stunning. This was my favorite part of our entire trip. Fern Canyon is a must see!

Also - we had some people in our group who didn't want to do the entire hike. You can follow a dirt road in past the beach, park and walk about .5 miles to the canyon, as well. If you inquire at any information center in the area (Klamath, Crescent City, etc) they are extremely helpful.

5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Keep an eye out for Elk on the way in! This is a great family hike and would be great for a hot day! We hiking this in early April, it wasn't hot but it wasn't cold either. Once we got to the mouth of the canyon there was a sign posted on the other side of the creek that the loop trail was blocked and impassable. So we opted to just go up the creek into the canyon. At first we tried our best to stay out of the water but had to give up and just walk through the water. It wasn't super cold water so that was nice and our daughter absolutely loved it! We went in as far as we could until a big log jam.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautifully built and maintained trail with steps, bridges and wayside markings. Walk along the Little River with plenty of ferns, old and new growth trees, wildflowers and small waterfalls. We loved this trail.